With no indication that a phosphate-mitigation credit scheme will be available across all areas in the near future, we have continued to work with nutrient-assessment colleagues to deliver proactive and cost-effective mitigation solutions for developments within the catchments of the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar Site.
Working in close association with water-quality specialists and engineers, we have agreed approaches with Natural England and have produced management plans for mitigation solutions and Shadow Habitats Regulations Assessments.
Typical mitigation approaches have utilised:
- Temporary fallowing of agricultural land.
- Delivery of long-term offsets through woodland and orchard creation.
- Package Treatment Plants, and
- On-site and Off-site wetlands.
We are seeking maximum value from these approaches for Biodiversity Net Gain; an approach now accepted by Natural England.
Whilst the majority of our experience has related to the Somerset Levels and Moors, we have also provided advice to clients encountering the same issues in Cornwall (Camel Estuary SAC), Hampshire (Solent region SPAs and SACs), Herefordshire (River Wye SAC) and Devon, Dorset and southern Somerset (River Axe SAC).